STUDY GUIDE ESSENTIAL

In the early church, some men taught that Jesus Christ was not a real man of flesh and blood. If this were true, would it have been possible for Christ to be our substitute sacrifice? Why or why not? 3. How do Romans 8:3–4 and Galatians 4:4–5 emphasize the importance of the humanity of Christ in salvation? Memory Points.
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ESSENTIAL

TRUTH

DON GREEN

STUDY GUIDE -1-

Essential Truth Revised Edition Copyright © Don Green 2015

Special Thanks Thank you to Jeff Fowler for his work on the graphic design and Erin Benziger for her preparation of the study notes. Jeff and Erin are faithful servants in our church. This study you are about to enjoy would not have been possible without their ministry. - Don Green -2-

Welcome Greetings, It’s a joy to welcome you to our Essential Truth Bible study. I trust this study will be life-changing for you as you consider some of the most important teachings of Scripture. I’m confident God will honor your effort, for He Himself has said: For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. -Isaiah 55:10-11 God bless you as you enter into His Word. For the sake of truth, Don Green Pastor Truth Community Church

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Table of Contents Session One - The Bible: God’s Word, Sufficient for All Spiritual Needs 5 Introduction 7 The Bible Is God’s Revelation 9 The Bible Is Inerrant 12 The Bible Is the Final Authority 14 The Bible Is Complete 17 Session Two- The Fear of God 20 Introduction 22 The Sinner’s Fear of God 24 The Christian’s Fear of God 27 Session Three - The Person of Jesus Christ 32 Introduction 34 Christ Our Mediator with God 36 Christ Our Substitute for Sin 39 Christ Our Pattern for Life 42 Christ Our Sympathetic Helper 45 Session Four - The Work of Jesus Christ 49 Introduction 51 Christ Took Your Place 54 Christ Paid Your Price 57 Christ Owns Your Life 60 Session Five - The Call to Repentance 63 Introduction 65 Repentance Is a Call to Righteousness 68 Repentance Is a Call to Blessing 71 Repentance Is a Call to Allegiance 74

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SESSION ONE

The Bible: God’s Word, Sufficient for All Spiritual Needs Getting Started Do you believe the Bible? Do you obey it? The Bible is God’s verbal revelation to the human race. Because the Bible is revelation from the God of truth, we believe and teach that the Bible is inerrant. Session Outline: Introduction 1. The Bible Is God’s Revelation 2. The Bible Is Inerrant 3. The Bible Is the Final Authority 4. The Bible Is Complete Session Message “The Foundation of Truth” (19T-002) Scripture Reading • Psalm 19:7-9 • 2 Timothy 3:15-17 -5-

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The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

Psalm 19:7

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Session One: The Bible

INTRODUCTION Section Summary How we think about the Bible drives what we do, what we believe and how we worship. Understanding the foundational qualities of the Bible is essential to understanding Christianity. Sermon Notes

“The Foundation of Truth” -7-

Session One: The Bible

INTRODUCTION Going Deeper 1. Define “general revelation.” To whom is general revelation given?

2. Define “special revelation.”

3. As you begin this study, what do you currently believe about the Bible?

Memory Points • It is through the Scriptures that man gains full knowledge of God. • The Scriptures are God’s revelation of Himself to man.

“The Foundation of Truth” -8-

Session One: The Bible

1. THE BIBLE IS GOD’S REVELATION Section Summary The true starting point for understanding the Bible is to understand that it is God’s revelation. As He spoke through the human authors of Scripture, He used their unique personalities to express precisely what it was He intended and desired to say. The Bible is indeed the very Word of God. Sermon Notes

“The Foundation of Truth” -9-

Session One: The Bible

1. THE BIBLE IS GOD’S REVELATION Going Deeper 1. Define “revelation.”

2. List some of the spiritual truths that we would not know if they were not revealed to us in the Bible.

3. In Psalm 19:7–9, we see the phrase “of the LORD” used six times. What are the implications of this phrase in this context?

“The Foundation of Truth” -10-

Session One: The Bible

4. Read 2 Timothy 3:16 and 2 Peter 1:20–21. Describe the manner in which God produced the Scriptures.

5. What is your attitude toward the Bible? How might it alter your time of Bible study if you were to pause momentarily and reflect upon the reality that you are approaching the very Word of God?

Memory Points • If we deny that the Bible is God’s revelation, we close off the gospel of salvation from men. • The Bible is the revealed Word of God. We should approach it with reverence and awe.

“The Foundation of Truth” -11-

Session One: The Bible

2. THE BIBLE IS INERRANT Section Summary Whatever comes from God is free from error. Thus the Scriptures, as God’s own revelation, are true and trustworthy. Wherever the Bible speaks to a particular subject, it does so with absolute truth and accuracy. Sermon Notes

“The Foundation of Truth” -12-

Session One: The Bible

2. THE BIBLE IS INERRANT Going Deeper 1. What does it mean that the Bible is “inerrant”?

2. What do Hebrews 6:18 and Titus 1:2 say about the nature of God? What subsequent implications does this have for His Word (see John 17:17)?

3. What are some of the adjectives used in Psalm 19:7–9 that emphasize the inerrancy of the Word?

4. There are those who would say that the Bible can be trusted when it speaks about spiritual matters such as salvation, sin, God and Christ, but that it cannot be trusted when it speaks to non-spiritual issues such as history, science, etc. How is this a deficient and inconsistent view of Scripture?

Memory Points • The Bible is inerrant, free from all fraud, falsehood and deceit. • Belief in the Bible’s inerrancy is intrinsic in repentance. Men must be willing to subject their entire mind, heart, and will to God’s Word. “The Foundation of Truth” -13-

Session One: The Bible

3. THE BIBLE IS THE FINAL AUTHORITY Section Summary If the Bible is the verbal revelation of God to men, and if it is without error in its entirety, then it naturally follows that the Bible is the final and ultimate authority. The authority of the Bible is an objective fact that contradicts today’s spirit of tolerance, yet the Christian must stand firm on what God has revealed to be true. Sermon Notes

“The Foundation of Truth” -14-

Session One: The Bible

3. THE BIBLE IS THE FINAL AUTHORITY Going Deeper 1. How do the following words used in Psalm 19:7–9 emphasize the authority of the Bible? a. b. c. d. e. f.

Law Testimony Precepts Commandments Fear Judgments

2. Is the Bible authoritative over all men, or over Christians only?

3. What might someone who has not submitted to the authority of God and His Word think about the way David describes the Word in Psalm 19? Will you share a time when you may have felt the same way?

“The Foundation of Truth” -15-

Session One: The Bible

4. It is easy to acknowledge with our lips that we believe the Bible to be true and authoritative, but whether we truly trust and submit to the Word will be evidenced in our lives. Is there any area of your life where you are functionally denying the inerrancy and authority of God’s Word? Give details. What steps can you take to change this?

Memory Points • The Bible is the only authority for truth. • The Bible reveals God’s will, His nature and attributes, His law, and His declarations over various aspects of men’s lives. • The Bible exposes man’s sin and commands men to repent before a holy God.

“The Foundation of Truth” -16-

Session One: The Bible

4. THE BIBLE IS COMPLETE Section Summary If the Bible is God’s revelation, inerrant in its entirety and the sole source of authority, then it also is complete and sufficient for anything pertaining to spiritual life and godliness. Scripture contains all that unregenerate men must know to obtain salvation, and all that saved men must know to be equipped “for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:17). God’s people are not to look beyond the Bible for any spiritual resources or doctrines. Sermon Notes

“The Foundation of Truth” -17-

Session One: The Bible

4. THE BIBLE IS COMPLETE Going Deeper 1. What does it mean that the Bible is “sufficient”?

2. Read 2 Timothy 3:14-17. What does the Bible provide for unsaved men? For saved men?

3. What do Deuteronomy 4:2, Proverbs 30:5–6 and Revelation 22:18–19 say about adding to Scripture or seeking outside of God’s Word for spiritual truth?

4. In the sermon, Pastor Don gave several examples of other religious traditions (i.e., Mormonism, Christian Science, Roman Catholicism, etc.) that deny the completeness of Scripture by equating or elevating other writings above the Word of God. Yet, within the professing Christian church there are some teachers, pastors and authors who affirm the sufficiency of Scripture, but still teach that Christians may seek to hear from God outside of His Word. Can you think of any examples of this that may be popular and promoted in churches today? What should be our response to such teaching?

“The Foundation of Truth” -18-

Session One: The Bible

5. How has your thinking about the Bible changed over the course of your Christian walk? How has it changed as a result of this study?

Memory Points • God has always precluded any books or words outside of Scripture from having equal or greater authority than His Word. • To believe the revelation, inerrancy, authority, and sufficiency of the Bible is to honor God. • When we call men to repent and turn to Christ, we are calling them to submit to and believe His Word. • To deny or disobey the Bible is to deny and disobey God Himself.

“We do not look beyond the Bible for spiritual resources because it is all right here. Anything else could only dilute it.” -Don Green “The Foundation of Truth” -19-

SESSION TWO The Fear of God

Getting Started Many in the church have conditioned the world to think that the first spiritual law they need to know is “God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life.” In reality, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Until you have come to fear God, you cannot know Him at all. Session Outline: Introduction 1. The Sinner’s Fear of God 2. The Christian’s Fear of God Session Message “Fear Knot” (20GC-02) Scripture Reading • Proverbs 1:7 • Isaiah 6:1-6; 59:12 • Romans 1:18 -20-

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The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 1:7

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Session Two: The Fear of God

INTRODUCTION Section Summary Until you come to fear God, you cannot know Him. The fear of God is the foundation upon which everything else rests and is built. Sermon Notes

“Fear Knot” -22-

Session Two: The Fear of God

INTRODUCTION Going Deeper 1. What command does Solomon give in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 and what is his reason for it? To whom does this apply?

2. What do the following verses reveal about God and man? Consider and share how the truth in these verses relates to the admonishment to fear God. a. Isaiah 6:1-6 b. Isaiah 59:12 c. Romans 1:18

3. As you begin this study, what do you think about when you hear the phrase “the fear of the Lord”?

Memory Points • A biblical fear of God is multifaceted and distinctly different for the saved and the unsaved. • Understanding the fear of the Lord will provide a solid foundation on which to build everything else. “Fear Knot” -23-

Session Two: The Fear of God

1. THE SINNER’S FEAR OF GOD Section Summary The fear of God is manifested in very different ways in the unsaved and the saved man. The sinner must know that if he continues in sin and rejects Christ, what awaits him is certain wrath and judgment. The omnipotent God is angry with sinners. Sermon Notes

“Fear Knot” -24-

Session Two: The Fear of God

1. THE SINNER’S FEAR OF GOD Going Deeper 1. What does Jesus say about God’s judgment on sinners in Matthew 10:28?

2. How do Hebrews 10: 26–27, 31 and Revelation 6:12–17 reinforce this?

3. If you are a Christian, think back to before you were saved. Did you fear God in a manner consistent with what is described in the above verses? What changed when you were saved?

“Fear Knot” -25-

Session Two: The Fear of God

4. How does a sinner come to a right view and understanding of the fear of God?

5. Some Christians teach that when we share the gospel, we should talk only about God’s love and forgiveness, and never about the “bad news” of sin and judgment. How is this a deficient gospel?

6. How does knowing about the terrifying judgment that awaits unrepentant sinners motivate you to share the true gospel?

Memory Points • Sinners need the gospel so that they may be saved from the wrath of God.

“Fear Knot” -26-

Session Two: The Fear of God

2. THE CHRISTIAN’S FEAR OF GOD Section Summary When God saves us, we are relieved from the fear of eternal punishment. Salvation changes the way in which we fear God. We respond to Him with a life of holiness and worship that is worthy of the gospel that saved us. Sermon Notes

“Fear Knot” -27-

Session Two: The Fear of God

2. THE CHRISTIAN’S FEAR OF GOD Going Deeper 1. If you are a Christian, Romans 8:1 is a great promise that ought to bring you joy and cause you to praise God. Why is it that “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”?

2. The sermon highlighted five ways that the Christian fears God. List them and briefly elaborate on each: a.

Fear Him with

b.

Fear Him with

c.

Fear Him in

d.

Fear Him with

e.

Fear Him with

3. Read Deuteronomy 6:1–2 and 6:4–6 together and Deuteronomy 10:20 and 11:1 together. What relationship is there between the fear of God and a love for God? How do we practically manifest this in our lives?

“Fear Knot” -28-

Session Two: The Fear of God

4. What do you learn about the fear of God from Hebrews 12:9–10?

5. Some churches today spend more time on Sunday morning emphasizing music, anecdotes, and drama than they do teaching the Word of God. What does this reveal about those churches? How is their approach contradictory to what you’ve learned here about the fear of the Lord?

6. From Proverbs 8:13 and 16:6, what does the fear of the Lord produce?

“Fear Knot” -29-

Session Two: The Fear of God

7. What relationship is there between sin and a proper fear of God?

8. What does Proverbs 22:4 say are the rewards for those who fear the Lord?

9. How has this study changed how you think about the fear of God?

“Fear Knot” -30-

Session Two: The Fear of God

Memory Points • To fear God is to set your highest affections on Him. • We fear God the way an earthly child fears his father: secure in His love and trusting in His goodness. • There is no true fear of God apart from His Word. • The fear of God motivates you to rise above your love for sin. • God sees and rewards faithfulness.

“For the believer, the fear of God is the whole-hearted life of loving, humble worship you give to God in response to His saving mercy in your life.” -Don Green

“Fear Knot” -31-

SESSION THREE The Person of Jesus Christ

Getting Started This emphasis on humanity does not deny His deity. Jesus is fully equal with God. Theologians use the phrase hypostatic union when they discuss the deity and humanity of Christ. It means that a human nature was inseparably united with the divine nature in the one person of Jesus Christ. The two natures remain distinct, whole, and unchanged. They are not mixed. Session Outline: Introduction 1. Christ Our Mediator with God 2. Christ Our Substitute Sacrifice for Sin 3. Christ Our Pattern for Life 4. Christ Our Sympathetic Helper Session Message “The Reasons for Christ’s Humanity” (62-003) Scripture Reading • Philippians 2:5-11 • Luke 19:10 -32-

What we have seen and heard

We proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.

These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.

1 John 1:3-4

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Session Three: The Person of Jesus Christ

INTRODUCTION Section Summary Jesus Christ is the God-man. Fully human, yet fully God, His two natures, though inseparably united in the person of Christ, remain distinct, whole and unchanged. To emphasize Christ’s humanity does not diminish His deity. Sermon Notes

“The Reasons for Christ’s Humanity” -34-

Session Three: The Person of Jesus Christ

INTRODUCTION Going Deeper 1. What are the dangers in focusing solely on Christ’s deity or solely on His humanity? In other words, why is it essential to understand both complete natures of Christ?

2. How does John 1:14 testify to both Christ’s humanity and His deity?

3. How does Philippians 2:6–7 reveal the willingness of Christ to become a man?

Memory Points • At every point except for sin, Christ’s humanity was just like ours. • Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. The two natures are not mixed. “The Reasons for Christ’s Humanity” -35-

Session Three: The Person of Jesus Christ

1. CHRIST OUR MEDIATOR WITH GOD Section Summary The sinful nature of men means that they cannot know God, nor do they seek for Him on their own. Because of sin, all men are under the wrath of God. There is a gap between God and man that cannot be bridged by sinful human effort. The two natures of Jesus Christ made it possible for this gap to be bridged. In the humanity of Christ, He becomes the mediator between God and man. Sermon Notes

“The Reasons for Christ’s Humanity” -36-

Session Three: The Person of Jesus Christ

1. CHRIST OUR MEDIATOR WITH GOD Going Deeper 1. What does a mediator do?

2. Read Exodus 15:11 and Psalm 71:19. How do these verses describe God? What do they reveal about the surpassing greatness of God that men cannot attain?

3. What does Isaiah 59:2 reveal about man and his sin? What does Romans 3:10–18 say about man’s condition?

“The Reasons for Christ’s Humanity” -37-

Session Three: The Person of Jesus Christ

4. How do these verses help you understand man’s need for a mediator before a holy God?

5. According to 1 Timothy 2:5, who is this mediator?

6. Why is it that Jesus can represent us before God (Col 2:9)?

Memory Points • The surpassing greatness of God and the sinful nature of men make God unreachable to men without outside intervention. • Jesus became a man in order to be the one and only mediator between God and men. Without Him, we cannot be reconciled to God. “The Reasons for Christ’s Humanity” -38-

Session Three: The Person of Jesus Christ

2. CHRIST OUR SUBSTITUTE SACRIFICE FOR SIN Section Summary All men have broken God’s law, and Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death.” For redemption to be possible, there had to be some manner of human intervention. Christ’s humanity and His perfect obedience to the law allowed Him to be the perfect and acceptable sacrifice for sin. God’s plan of salvation was always tied to the sacrifice of Christ. Sermon Notes

“The Reasons for Christ’s Humanity” -39-

Session Three: The Person of Jesus Christ

2. CHRIST OUR SUBSTITUTE SACRIFICE FOR SIN Going Deeper 1. The sacrifices of the Old Testament reveal that blood needed to be shed for sin. Read Hebrews 10:1–4. What was the purpose of the animal sacrifices? Why were they not sufficient to take away the sins of men?

2. Read Hebrews 10:10–14. What is different about the sacrifice of Christ?

“The Reasons for Christ’s Humanity” -40-

Session Three: The Person of Jesus Christ

3. How do Romans 8:3–4 and Galatians 4:4–5 emphasize the importance of the humanity of Christ in salvation?

4. In the early church, some men taught that Jesus Christ was not a real man of flesh and blood. If this were true, would it have been possible for Christ to be our substitute sacrifice? Why or why not?

Memory Points • Something with a different nature could not redeem man. The shedding of innocent human blood was required for the remission of human sin. • Jesus Christ willingly took on human flesh, perfectly obeyed the law of God, and died to pay the penalty for the sins of all who would believe. • Christ had to be a man to offer His death in the place of sinful men. “The Reasons for Christ’s Humanity” -41-

Session Three: The Person of Jesus Christ

3. CHRIST OUR PATTERN FOR LIFE Section Summary The humanity of Christ means that His life serves as an example for those who have been saved and who strive for holiness. An in-depth study of the life of Christ would reveal that He gave us a pattern to follow in every situation in life. Christians are to be a reflection of their Savior. Sermon Notes

“The Reasons for Christ’s Humanity” -42-

Session Three: The Person of Jesus Christ

3. CHRIST OUR PATTERN FOR LIFE Going Deeper 1. What pattern did Jesus set in John 13:12–15?

2. Do you willingly serve the body of Christ, even if it is not the most glamorous or prestigious task? What might you do to seek out more opportunities to serve the Lord by serving His people?

3. According to 1 Peter 2:21–23 how should Christians react in the face of unjust suffering? Will you share a time when you suffered for the sake of Christ? How did you respond? How can you better follow Christ’s example in such situations?

“The Reasons for Christ’s Humanity” -43-

Session Three: The Person of Jesus Christ

4. What are some other life situations for which Christ provided an example for us to follow? Give verses if you can.

Memory Points • Because Jesus was a man, He gave us an example to follow. • In times of unjust suffering, Jesus entrusted His situation to His Father. Christians likewise should entrust their trials to the Father, who is sovereign. “The Reasons for Christ’s Humanity” -44-

Session Three: The Person of Jesus Christ

4. CHRIST OUR SYMPATHETIC HELPER Section Summary The doctrine of Christ’s humanity teaches us that He can sympathize with us fully in our experiences. By virtue of His humanity, Jesus can sympathize with our weakness and deliver the grace and mercy to help us in the midst of trials. Sermon Notes

“The Reasons for Christ’s Humanity” -45-

Session Three: The Person of Jesus Christ

4. CHRIST OUR SYMPATHETIC HELPER Going Deeper 1. Read Hebrews 2:18 and 4:15–16. How do these verses explain Christ’s ability to sympathize with us in weakness?

2. In the midst of a trial, what is your first response? To whom do you turn first?

3. Now that you have learned more about the humanity of Christ, how might you change your response to trials and difficult circumstances?

“The Reasons for Christ’s Humanity” -46-

Session Three: The Person of Jesus Christ

4. The ultimate way that Jesus has helped us is by taking away the penalty of sin and destroying the power it has over our lives. He came and lived the life of perfect obedience that we cannot live, died as an unblemished, substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of men and was raised to life to demonstrate that His sacrifice was accepted and that the wrath of God had been satisfied. Have you repented of your sin and trusted in this great and generous Christ and His work for your salvation? If not, consider this a plea that you would come to know your need for a Savior.

5. If you are a Christian, how has studying the doctrine of Christ’s humanity changed your view of the Master you serve? How has it changed your approach to Bible study, prayer and your daily Christian walk? Do you come to Christ in friendship and fellowship in your joys and sorrows?

Memory Points • Christ knew what it was to be tempted, to suffer, to be betrayed, slandered and to be in physical need. He knew what it was to weep. • He is a Savior and a friend willing to strengthen us in our weaknesses. “The Reasons for Christ’s Humanity” -47-

Session Three: The Person of Jesus Christ

“In the person of Christ, God has experienced human need, weakness, and sorrow. Now as our Lord and Savior, Jesus lovingly receives you in your trials as a sympathetic friend.” -Don Green

“The Reasons for Christ’s Humanity” -48-

SESSION FOUR The Work of Jesus Christ

Getting Started Everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin (John 8:34). The Bible teaches that the sin that overcomes us, enslaves us (2 Peter 2:19). Slaves have no freedom. We were all in that position. How does Christ deliver us from our spiritual slavery? Session Outline: Introduction 1. Christ Took Your Place 2. Christ Paid Your Price 3. Christ Owns Your Life Session Message “Our Great Redeemer” (56-017) Scripture Reading • Titus 2:14-15 • 2 Corinthians 5:21 • 1 Peter 2:24 -49-

the

work of

Jesus

Session Four: The Work of Jesus Christ

Who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a

people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. Titus 2:14

“Our Great Redeemer” -50-

Session Four: The Work of Jesus Christ

Introduction Section Summary No person is without sin. Likewise, no person is able to save himself or earn God’s favor through good deeds or noble efforts. The unregenerate man is a slave to sin, and though he is in bondage, he loves the sin that enslaves him. Only Christ can deliver from this spiritual slavery. Sermon Notes

“Our Great Redeemer” -51-

Session Four: The Work of Jesus Christ

INTRODUCTION Going Deeper 1. What did Jesus say in John 8:34 about men and sin? Is anyone exempt from this condition?

2. What does it mean to be a “slave to sin”?

3. John 3:19 says that “men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.” Why do you think men love their sin?

“Our Great Redeemer” -52-

Session Four: The Work of Jesus Christ

Memory Points • Man in his natural state is enslaved and in bondage to sin. • Christ delivers from spiritual slavery.

“In his natural condition, man is a slave to sin. Slaves have no freedom; they do what their masters tell them. The unsaved man loves his darkness. He would not have Christ deliver him. As he is in chains to his sin, he kisses the chains that bind and enslave him.” -Don Green

“Our Great Redeemer” -53-

Session Four: The Work of Jesus Christ

1. CHRIST TOOK YOUR PLACE Section Summary As a slave, man cannot free himself from the bondage of sin. He is unable to break his own chains. Out of mercy and grace, Jesus Christ intervened and did what man can never do. On the cross, Christ was a substitute for sinners, taking on the punishment of death for all who would believe in Him. Sermon Notes

“Our Great Redeemer” -54-

Session Four: The Work of Jesus Christ

1. CHRIST TOOK YOUR PLACE Going Deeper 1. Titus 2:14 places our focus on Jesus Christ. What does it say He did for us?

2. Read Isaiah 53:4–6 and 1 Peter 3:18. How do these verses deepen your understanding of how it is that Christ was our substitute on the cross?

“Our Great Redeemer” -55-

Session Four: The Work of Jesus Christ

3. If you are a Christian, what does this mean to you that Christ stood in your place and suffered the penalty and punishment for your sin? How does this motivate you to change your thoughts about and worship of the Lord Jesus Christ? If you are not a Christian, you must understand that Christ, in obedience to His Father, died willingly for sinners. If you repent and receive Him as your Master, you will be freed from the chains of sin that bind you and the certain judgment and destruction that await you.

Memory Points • Christ stood in the place of sinners and took the punishment of death for everyone who would believe in Him. • Christ was not suffering for His own sins on the cross. He was a substitute for all of those who are His.

“Our Great Redeemer” -56-

Session Four: The Work of Jesus Christ

2. CHRIST PAID YOUR PRICE Section Summary A slave cannot be set free unless someone pays a ransom price for him. The payment of this price is called “redemption.” When Christ redeemed sinners by His death, He did not merely cancel the sin debt we owed to God, rather He paid that debt in full. Sermon Notes

“Our Great Redeemer” -57-

Session Four: The Work of Jesus Christ

2. CHRIST PAID YOUR PRICE Going Deeper 1. From what does Titus 2:14 say that we have been redeemed?

2. What does it mean that Christ has redeemed us from “every lawless deed”? Is there any sin that is beyond the liberating power of Jesus Christ?

3. Name the sins in your life that you have been facing with acceptance and/or indifference. How will you change your prayers to ask God for help in eliminating those sins from your life?

“Our Great Redeemer” -58-

Session Four: The Work of Jesus Christ

4. As you reflect on the sin to which you still cling, read 1 Peter 1:17–19. How do the truths in these verses compel you to seek righteousness in those areas of your life where sin still dominates?

Memory Points • Christ paid the price necessary to release you from the dominating power of sin. • For you to be free from sin, a price had to be paid. That price was the shed blood of Jesus Christ. “Our Great Redeemer” -59-

Session Four: The Work of Jesus Christ

3. CHRIST OWNS YOUR LIFE Section Summary When Jesus Christ purchased you by His blood, you became His possession. You are not free to pursue a life of sin. Christ owns you and as such He has the right to direct your life. You are now a slave to Christ, free to worship and glorify Him in thought, word, and deed. Sermon Notes

“Our Great Redeemer” -60-

Session Four: The Work of Jesus Christ

3. CHRIST OWNS YOUR LIFE Going Deeper 1. From Titus 2:14, why did Jesus redeem us?

2. What does it mean to be “zealous for good deeds”? Why do so many professing Christians appear spiritually apathetic or indifferent?

3. What does 1 Corinthians 6:20 command and why?

“Our Great Redeemer” -61-

Session Four: The Work of Jesus Christ

4. There are those who say that it is possible to “accept Christ as Savior” but not submit to Him as Lord until a later point in time. What is wrong with this position? Is this a true picture of the redemption that we’ve seen described here in Titus? Why or why not?

5. Your life and how you spend your time reveals what you truly love and who or what is your master. Have you been redeemed and are you living for Christ, or are you still bound by the chains of sin and love for this world? To which master do you bow?

Memory Points • Christ paid for us to own us; He has the right to direct every aspect of our lives. • If you have been redeemed by Christ you should be zealous to serve Him. • We are here to maximize the glory of our Redeemer. “Our Great Redeemer” -62-

SESSION FIVE The Call to Repentance

Getting Started The call to repentance tells men to turn from sin toward biblical righteousness in order to give irrevocable allegiance to Jesus Christ and to receive divine blessing. Session Outline: Introduction 1. Introduction to the Call to Repentance 2. Repentance Is a Call to Righteousness 3. Repentance Is a Call to Blessing 4. Repentance Is a Call to Allegiance Session Message “The Call to Repentance” (40GX-10) Scripture Reading • Psalm 19:7-9 • 2 Timothy 3:15-17 -63-

From that time Jesus began to preach and say,

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” MATTHEW 4:17

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Session Five: The Call to Repentance

INTRODUCTION Section Summary The call to repentance is more than a change in conduct and a grieving over past sin; it is a call that confronts the entire man. The call to repentance calls the lost to salvation and calls the Christian out of his spiritual mediocrity and indifference to a renewed pursuit of Christ, sanctification, and righteousness. Sermon Notes

“The Call to Repentance” -65-

Session Five: The Call to Repentance

INTRODUCTION Going Deeper 1. In Matthew 4:17, Jesus begins His public ministry with a statement that summarizes the theme of His preaching, namely repentance. What is the connection with this verse and His opening words in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:3?

2. Why did Jesus say in Matthew 4:17 that “the kingdom of heaven is at hand”?

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Session Five: The Call to Repentance

3. What must happen before a man can enter this kingdom?

4. Why do think so many pastors and teachers are reluctant to preach the true meaning of repentance?

Memory Points • Christ’s ministry is bookended by the theme of repentance (see Matthew 4:17 and Luke 24:47). • The call to repentance is for lost sinners and Christians alike.

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Session Five: The Call to Repentance

1. REPENTANCE IS A CALL TO RIGHTEOUSNESS Section Summary The call to repentance is more than merely relaying information. It is a confrontation of the entire man: heart, soul, mind and strength. More than a plea to simply think differently, the call to repentance tells man to recognize and grieve over his sin and to turn instead to righteousness. True repentance is manifested in an entire life change, beginning with an inward turning that results in outward conduct. Righteousness is the dynamic character of a citizen of the kingdom that reflects the character of God Himself. Sermon Notes

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Session Five: The Call to Repentance

1. REPENTANCE IS A CALL TO RIGHTEOUSNESS Going Deeper 1. What does Matthew 5:3–6 describe as man’s inner response to repentance as he desires that righteousness and purity be manifested in his life?

2. What does Matthew 6:33 command? What, then, is the standard of righteousness (see also Matthew 5:20, 48)?

3. The man or woman who is truly repentant embraces this standard of righteousness. Can you think of a time when you were faced with a choice between pursuing righteousness and earthly convenience? How did you respond? What should be our response to such challenges?

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Session Five: The Call to Repentance 4. According to Matthew 7:21, who will enter the kingdom of heaven? Explain this in light of what you’ve learned so far about repentance.

5. Do Christians ever stop sinning? How are you pursuing personal holiness in your life?

Memory Points • The call to repentance demands a response. It calls men out of sin and into service to Christ in newness of life. • The call to repentance is not behavior reform, but a turning of the inner man from sin toward the righteousness of Christ. • Christ is calling us to greater righteousness than we manifested this past week. “The Call to Repentance” -70-

Session Five: The Call to Repentance

2. REPENTANCE IS A CALL TO BLESSING Section Summary The Sermon on the Mount is filled with promises of blessing and favor for those who repent. The call to repentance must convict man of his sin and lead him to mourn his spiritual poverty, but it should not leave him in this place. Inherent in the call to repent is the promise of forgiveness and blessing for those who do repent. Sermon Notes

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Session Five: The Call to Repentance

2. REPENTANCE IS A CALL TO BLESSING Going Deeper 1. What promises do you see in Matthew 5:3–11, 6:4, 18, 33 for those who repent and turn from sin?

2. What promise do you find in Matthew 7:7–8?

3. Should we ask, seek, and knock in pursuit of material and transitory blessings? If not, what types of blessings are sought by and will be granted to the repentant man?

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Session Five: The Call to Repentance

4. God’s promise of blessing and favor is found throughout the Bible. As only two examples, what promises do you see in Isaiah 55:7 and Matthew 11:28–30?

5. If you are a Christian who obediently proclaims the gospel to others, how might you change your gospel presentation to ensure that those you are calling to repentance will understand the divine blessings that are given to those who repent?

Memory Points • God is a God of mercy, love and goodness. These blessings are inherent in the call to repentance. • Men must be called to turn from sin with the expectation that God will forgive them and give them spiritual blessings if they do. • The call to repentance reminds that God is a God of mercy. As we share the gospel, we should desire that others might come to share in that great mercy. “The Call to Repentance” -73-

Session Five: The Call to Repentance

3. REPENTANCE IS A CALL TO ALLEGIANCE Section Summary The call to repentance is more than just a confrontation about past sin. It is not simply behavior management. It is a call to allegiance to a person, namely the Lord Jesus Christ. Sermon Notes

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Session Five: The Call to Repentance

3. REPENTANCE IS A CALL TO ALLEGIANCE Going Deeper 1. Those who have been brought to repentance have an enduring, preeminent loyalty to Christ. In Matthew 5:11–12, how does Jesus say we are to respond to persecution received as a result of this loyalty and pursuit of righteousness?

2. What is the extent of this allegiance to Christ (see Matthew 6:24 and Matthew 10:37–39)?

3. Describe a time when your allegiance to Christ was tested, perhaps by family, friends or circumstances.

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Session Five: The Call to Repentance Memory Points • Repentance reorients your heart to loyalty to Christ. • The repentant person follows Christ gladly, without regard for the cost he might pay.

“God promises His blessing to those who repent and turn to Him in pursuit of righteousness . . . and His promise never fails. ” -Don Green

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